Char Dham, Char Dham Yatra
"Char Dham" means four holy abodes, are believed to be the abodes of Hindu gods and the holiest places of pilgrimage. The Char Dham are considered as the most sacred sites for Hindus. There are two circuits of Char Dham sites in India, one is the bigger circuit and scattered in the four directions of India and another one is the smaller circuit and located in the state of Uttarakhand. Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri - all of these are at the foot hills of Himalayas. The journey across the four cardinal points in India is considered sacred by Hindus who aspire to visit these temples once in their lifetime.
Badrinath is one of the most popular and religious holy towns of the Hindus located at Chamoli district of Uttarakhand in India. It is the most important of all the four (Char) dhams in India. The town of Badrinath lies between Nar and Naryana mountain ranges and in the shadow of Nilkantha peak, 301 km north of Rishikesh. The town is located at an elevation of 3,133mts above sea level on the left bank of Alakananda River.
Kapat Opening : The kapat of Shri Badarinath Temple has been opened on 29th April 2012 at 4:00 AM.
Closing date: Badrinath Temple closing date will be updated soon.
Kedarnath is highest among the 12 Jyotirlingas. This ancient and magnificient temple is located in the Rudra Himalaya range. This temple, over a thousand years old is built of massive stone slabs over a large rectangular platform. Ascending through the large gray steps leading to the holy sanctums we find inscriptions in Pali on the steps. The present temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya. The inner walls of the temple sanctum are adorned with figures of various deities and scenes from mythology.
The origin of the revered temple can be found in the great epic - Mahabharata. According to legends, the Pandavas sought the blessings of lord Shiva to atone their sin after the battle of Mahabharata. Lord Shiva eluded them repeatedly and while fleeing took refuge at Kedarnath in the form of a bull. On being followed, he dived into ground leaving behind his hump on the surface. Outside the temple door a large statue of the Nandi Bull stands as guard. A conical rock formation inside the temple is worshipped as Lord Shiva in his Sadashiva form. The temple, believed to be very ancient, has been continually renovated over the centuries. It is situated at an altitude of 3,581 mt. It is a 14 km trek from Gaurikund.
According to an old legend, Lord Shiva rewarded King Bhagirath after his penance and Ganga came down to earth. However, due to her pride, and the fact that the earth would be devastated if Ganga came down in her full force, Lord Shiva caught her in his locks. It was then proclaimed that Goddess Uma or Parvati, Shiva's consort, would bathe in the Ganges daily and only then would she descend on the earth. The sacred stone near the temple denotes the place where Ganga first came down to earth. This is why Ganga is also called by the name of Bhagirathi. Gangotri, the source of the river Ganges and seat of the goddess Ganga, is one of the four sites in the Char Dham Pilgrimage Yatra circuit. The temple was constructed in the early 18th century by a Gorkha Commander Amar Sigh Thapa The river is called Bhagirathi at the source and acquires the name Ganga from Devprayag onwards where it meets the Alaknanda. The origin of the holy river is at Gaumukh, set in the Gangotri Glacier, and is a 19 km trek from Gangotri.
Yamunotri, the source of the Yamuna River and the seat of the Goddess Yamuna, is one of the four sites in India's Char Dham Pilgrimage. The sacred shrine of Yamunotri, source of the river Yamuna, is the westernmost shrine in the Garhwal Himalayas, perched atop a flank of Bandar Poonch Peak (3615 m) & situated opposite to Gangotri. The actual source a frozen lake of ice & glacier (Champasar glacier) located on the kalind mountain at the height of 4421 m above sea level, about 1 km further up, is not frequented generally as it is not accessible and hence the shrine has been located on the foot of the hill. The tiny Yamuna has icy cold water and its absolute innocence and the infantile purity heightens that deep feeling of reverence, Yamunotri for the devout.